FIREWORKS BY-LAWS

From Peter Stewart

FYI

Residents don't need to apply for permission to use fireworks on the following days and times:

  • New Year's Eve from 11pm to 1am
  • New Year's Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Hindu New Year from 7pm to 10pm
  • Lag b'omer from 7pm to 10pm
  • Chinese New Year  to 10pm
  • Human Rights Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Freedom Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Guy Fawkes Day from 7pm to 10pm
  • Diwali from 7pm to 10pm
  • Christmas Eve from 7pm to 10pm
  • Day of Goodwill from 7pm to 10pm

In terms of the City's by-laws, no person should use fireworks within 500 metres of any explosives factory, explosives storage place, petrol depot or petrol station, inside any building, at any public place or at any school, old age home or hospital. A fine of R1 500 will be slapped on any person found violating these laws.

Lighting or igniting fireworks in any place where animals are present will incur a fine of R1 000. Minors may not be allowed to light or ignite fireworks by any person caring for them.

To stage a fireworks display, permission must first be first sought in writing from the fireworks working committee or from the chief fire officer in that particular region. The application must reach the committee or the chief fire officer 14 days in advance to allow members of the public to launch any objections. If an application to present a fireworks display is approved by the council, it may require that the fireworks display be presented only on "suitable premises designated by the council and under the supervision and control of an official designated by the council".

Permission must also be sought to set off crackers in private yards. In the application, the person must outline the plan of the house, including any overhead pylons. A site inspection by the emergency management services will also be conducted.

On days of cultural and religious celebrations, no permission is required to use fireworks but it must be done within the times stipulated by the City's by-laws:

These include: New Years Day, Chinese New Year, Human Rights Day, Guy Fawkes Day, Christmas Eve and the Day of Goodwill, where displays can be held between 7pm and 10pm.

A R500 fine will be incurred if a person is found letting off fireworks on these days outside these times.

It is illegal to let off fireworks after midnight on any day except on New Year's Eve. On this day, fireworks are only allowed between 11pm and 1am. A fine R1 500 can be incurred for the illegal use of firecrackers or fireworks in public. The by-laws also specify that only licensed dealers may sell fireworks.

Applications to stage fireworks displays should be addressed to the emergency management services' divisional chief fire safety and faxed to 011-339-1507.

For more information contact the department on 011-407-6347